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Author Topic: Strategy for setting / managing tom gates  (Read 10773 times)

Mark McFarlane

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Re: Strategy for setting / managing tom gates
« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2013, 07:11:10 am »

Instead of gating the drums, you may consider looking into the SPL Transient Designer. The SPL may be a better solution depending upon your intended goal. 

http://spl.info/index.php?id=162&L=1

I'm a huge fan of TD but it doesn't address the problem of getting rid of mic bleed between hits.  A great tool for many uses, even reducing pick noise on acoustic guitars, but not really what we are discussing.


FWIW, the X32 is supposed to have something like this built in.
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Mark McFarlane
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Matthew Knischewsky

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Re: Strategy for setting / managing tom gates
« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2013, 12:53:32 pm »

I don't use gates unless there's a problem to be fixed and it depends on the style of music. Mainstream rock? Yes. Jazz? No. Hopefully drum tuning problems can be fixed by the human tuning the drums but if they can't...
I usually adjust the attack to somewhere around 7ms which allows me to set the threshold looser without the snare triggering the tom gates, then combine that with key filter. After line checking the drums get the drummer to play time and tweak the attack and threshold settings to have the gates closed on snare hits.


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Stefan Maerz

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Re: Strategy for setting / managing tom gates
« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2013, 03:01:40 pm »

I'm my woodshedding I ran across this document on gates.  Although it was written with studio work in mind, it's an excellent overview, with great illustrations, ... If you buy the book you get lots of audio samples showing the effects of different parameter settings.  It appears very well done.

http://www.mixingaudio.com/book/Gates%20(Mixing%20Audio).pdf

This just happens to be the one 'free chapter' of a book for sale.  I don't own the book or know about the other chapters. Here's the book for sale: http://www.amazon.com/Mixing-Audio-Concepts-Practices-ebook/dp/B008SA3YWK/ref=tmm_kin_title_1
Excellent book! I've basically read it page to page. As you suggest it is targeted toward studio engineers, but sound is sound so there are many common aspects. One of the big things is that this book might lead you to try and do too much processing, which may be appropriate in a studio environment, but not live. (too difficult to manage that many gates, comps, efx, ect.)

You just have to be able to discern the differences.
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Stefan Maerz

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Re: Strategy for setting / managing tom gates
« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2013, 03:03:57 pm »

Also Mark, as you suggest, the Audio Samples are very useful for learning how various equipment works. Gives all sorts of A-B comparisons. It wasn't a particularly expensive book if memory serves me correctly.

With that said, there are many good studio mixing books out there -- all I can attest to is this one.
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Robert Weston

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Re: Strategy for setting / managing tom gates
« Reply #24 on: July 29, 2013, 07:34:55 am »

One area I continue to struggle with is finding good 'average' gate settings for toms, particularly for festival type situations.

The problems are somewhat obvious, different dynamics between songs with the same drummer (threshold), different desired impact of the toms for different songs (decay, attack, hold), different drummers in festivals: a gorilla using telephone poles followed by a guy playing with pencils,,...

I rarely work with the same band, so preprogramming a show, or scene changes per song, isn't an option.  Sound check time is typically 20-30 minutes for a 1 band gig, which means 10 minutes for drums.  For festivals its more of a line check and go, 5 minutes between bands is typical.

In the heat of things, I often end up disabling the gates, or using a really small range so I am only getting a few db of attenuation rather than a full on gate.  Part of the problem is certainly my skill, if I could readjust the gates in 3 seconds it wouldn't be an issue, then again, not knowing the bands or songs I don't know when the toms are going to be hit, so readjusting them 'in the first song' presents additional challenges, and with 4 toms they might not be used for several songs,...

I'm curious what others strategies are for setting up tom gates in an 'unfamiliar band' situation.

I use gates for the entire drum kit (usually 8 mics); after doing many shows, I've learned where to set the threshold, attack, hold, release for the various styles of playing (including festival setups).  The settings are NOT concrete, but a good place to start with fine tuning as the band begins their set.

In my experience, it's been an advantage to gating the entire kit to keep the number of open mics to a minimum; helping with GBF.  Though, I attenuate the mics at least by 20db.  The gates are frequency triggered.

My FOH is analog (w/outboard).  It takes just a few seconds to "reset" the gates for the next act (especially if the drum kit doesn't get switched out).  The frequency trigger settings on the gate channels pretty much stay put between acts.
 
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Douglas R. Allen

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Re: Strategy for setting / managing tom gates
« Reply #25 on: August 02, 2013, 09:29:00 pm »

I find the 01v96 very easy to set gates on.  In the gate screen you can see how much gain reduction you have on the meter.  Then when it opens you see the meter go up and disappear as the gain reduction is reversed.

I set my gates for run and gun stuff very generic.  Very fast, 50 microsecond attack.  Moderate release depending on which mics I am using.  6-10 dB of gain reduction.  0dBu threshold.  When doing my line check setting up a band all I need to do is adjust the threshold for each channel. I am up and running.  After they get playing I can tweak gain reduction and release if needed.  It really doesn't take much to tighten up a kit and make it sound a lot better.  Remember, too much gain reduction will sound choppy as you hear them open and close.

RYAN;
50ms? That is what I'd call slow for drums. I like to set mine around 2 or 3ms on my 01v96. I find the gates "click" on the V if you go down to 1.
Record some drum tracks and give them a listen at 50ms and again at 3ms. 50ms will chop off a lot of the first attack.
IMHO

Douglas R. Allen
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David Morison

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Re: Strategy for setting / managing tom gates
« Reply #26 on: August 04, 2013, 09:17:18 am »

RYAN;
50ms? That is what I'd call slow for drums. I like to set mine around 2 or 3ms on my 01v96. I find the gates "click" on the V if you go down to 1.
Record some drum tracks and give them a listen at 50ms and again at 3ms. 50ms will chop off a lot of the first attack.
IMHO

Douglas R. Allen

Hi Douglas,
Are you sure you didn't misread Ryan's units?
He said 50 microseconds (ie s) not 50 milliseconds (ms), which is way faster than the 2-3ms which you suggest.
Cheers,
David.
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Douglas R. Allen

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Re: Strategy for setting / managing tom gates
« Reply #27 on: August 04, 2013, 06:58:28 pm »

Hi Douglas,
Are you sure you didn't misread Ryan's units?
He said 50 microseconds (ie s) not 50 milliseconds (ms), which is way faster than the 2-3ms which you suggest.
Cheers,
David.

I'll have to go look at my board but I'm pretty sure it doesn't read or adjust in microseconds but milliseconds.

Douglas R. Allen
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Douglas R. Allen

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Re: Strategy for setting / managing tom gates
« Reply #28 on: August 04, 2013, 07:10:25 pm »

Hi Douglas,
Are you sure you didn't misread Ryan's units?
He said 50 microseconds (ie s) not 50 milliseconds (ms), which is way faster than the 2-3ms which you suggest.
Cheers,
David.

Did a quick check and the gate settings are in MS or milliseconds. 50ms would be really slow.

Douglas R. Allen
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Strategy for setting / managing tom gates
« Reply #28 on: August 04, 2013, 07:10:25 pm »


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